Pelvic congestion syndrome is a common cause of ongoing pelvic pain in women. It occurs when pelvic veins, those associated with the uterus or ovaries, become enlarged, swollen or dilated. Doctors believe it can be the source of pain in up to 30 percent of women who have chronic pelvic pain.
The condition is rare in women who have never experienced pregnancy, however women with polycystic ovaries, hormonal dysfunction, or varicose veins on their vulva may be more at risk.
What are the symptoms?
Besides the pain, women may experience other Pelvic Congestion Syndrome symptoms as well as different combinations of these symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).
- Abnormal bleeding during menstruation.
- Varicose veins around the vulva, buttocks, and legs.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge.
- Swelling of the vagina or vulva.
- Tenderness of the abdomen.
- Increased urination.
- Hip pain.
Unfortunately, there is no definite cure for the condition, the treatment is usually aimed at reducing and alleviating symptoms. Currently, the most successful treatment is a minimally invasive surgical procedure called pelvic vein embolization. This procedure blocks off certain varicose veins that are believed to be the source of pain.